Home Invasion The Latest In Local Crime Spike
This morning I woke up and began calling local friends and family to make sure they were aware that police had released a sketch of a man wanted in a brutal rape last night. I'm on the phone with my wife reviewing basic safety and self defense, when I get word of a home invasion that left one person dead and another critically injured. Local crime in the greater Baton Rouge area has increased nearly 50% versus this time last year. Even worse is that the increase in violent crime including murder is increasing at even greater rates. Why is this happening? What is causing this crime spike? What can we (the community) do to reverse the trend? I don't have all of the answers but am willing to do just about anything if it will make a difference. Less than 100 miles down the road is New Orleans which recently became the "murder capital" as per capita the city had the highest rate of murder in the country. People are concerned, scared, mad, you name it and I think I've felt the emotion. As a resident trying to raise a family I don't like what I see. I see that the majority of the crime seems to be drug related in one way or the other. I see the highest crime areas are also the lowest income areas. Education is lacking, family is lacking, role models are non existent; these things combined make for a vicious cycle that is very difficult to escape but extremely easy to fall victim to. In the latest home invasion, a 38-year-old man who with another guy allegedly forced their way into a home after 2:00am last night in what is being called an armed robbery attempt. The 38 year old attacker was fatally shot by an 18 year old who was inside the home at the time of the invasion. The 18 year old was also critically wounded in what is believed to have been a shootout. The two attackers attempted forced entry into the home for the purposes of robbing the 18 year old. The 18 year old quickly got his gun and began shooting. There will likely be more violence overnight tonight and potentially more casualties. Self defense and security are now at the top most families priority list. Local gun shops report an unbelievable increase in the requests for concealed weapons permits. Our business, non-lethal self defense products is extremely busy. Individuals and small business owners are buying pepper spray, stun guns, home alarms, personal security products like never before. Others are installing cameras, both hidden surveillance cameras and domes in plain view. So what is the answer, how do we get these criminals under control. First, I believe in community policing. We have to put large amounts of officers into our highest crime areas. It's a no brainier that crime will decrease with increased police presence. The most important aspect of community policing is to build relationships. The great majority of people who live in high crime areas want the violence to stop and will help to do so. This type of policing brings community leaders and law enforcement together and typically spurs valuable awareness and prevention programs. Once the law enforcement presence has become embedded, it's time to root out the "cancer". There will always be those who want to continue business as normal. These "thugs" must be dealt with and the consequences should be harsh. During this same time period, an education initiative should be embarked upon. Education can clear the way and "break the cycle" of crime, drugs, and poverty. Education will only be effective once those within the community feel safe and don't fear retaliation from the criminals. So you have your law enforcement embedded 24/7 in these areas, you are working with local leaders and organizations to provide the necessary programs and resources. Initiatives such as rebuilding and renovation as well as "clean up" type programs help to build morale and ownership of the community. Now when education is introduced and reinforced it will be much more effective. Young men and women who choose to will now have a "fighting chance" to break the cycle.